What is diaper rash?

Diaper rashes grow in warm, moist places. They’re particularly at home in your baby’s diaper. These rashes can look like red splotches on your baby’s bottom, or red scales in the genital area.

Diaper rash can result from:

  • irritation by stool and urine
  • new foods or products
  • sensitive skin
  • a too-tight diaper

Keep reading for easily accessible diaper rash remedies.

Keep it clean and dry

The most important way to prevent and treat a rash is to keep your baby’s diaper dry and clean. And make sure the diaper isn’t wrapped too tightly.

Whenever your baby isn’t wearing a diaper, lay them down on a towel. Also, give them some time without a diaper during the day. This may help keep the diaper area dry.

When you change your baby’s diaper, clean the area gently with a soft cloth or a squirt of water from a bottle. Wipes are fine, just be gentle. Don’t rub the skin too hard, and avoid wipes with alcohol.

Use mild soap or a soap-free cleanser when you give your baby a bath. Be sure to pat — not scrub — the area dry.

Diaper-changing tips

When your baby has a diaper rash, you must be vigilant about diaper changing. It’s best to change your baby’s diaper often, ideally as soon as it’s soiled.

Rinse cloth diapers two to three times to remove all soap after you’ve cleaned them, as some babies may be sensitive to detergents or their fragrances. Also, superabsorbent disposable diapers can help keep your baby’s skin dry.

Creams and jellies

You can use pastes or barrier creams that contain zinc to soothe the skin and prevent contact with feces and other irritants. Examples of these products include:

  • Triple Paste
  • A+D
  • Balmex
  • Desitin

Apply a thin layer to prevent stool or urine from touching your baby’s skin.

Jellies like Vaseline may be ideal, as they’re inexpensive and normally contain fewer dyes or perfumes. However, jellies may stick to cloth diapers and can be hard to wash off. They also don’t offer a barrier as strong as other creams.

Shop for all the diaper rash care you need: Grab Triple Paste, A+D Ointment, Balmex, Desitin, and Vaseline now.

Treatments to avoid

When it comes to preventing and treating diaper rash, less is more. Avoid using highly fragranced products, including fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free are much less irritating for many babies.

Also, put your baby in clothes that are breathable. Rubber pants or tight plastic covers over a diaper can promote a moist, hot environment.

You should also refrain from using baby powder on your baby. It’s a no-no for babies because they can inhale it, which can harm their lungs.

Cornstarch is another remedy that isn’t safe to use on little ones because they can also inhale the powder, which can irritate their lungs. Corn starch can also worsen diaper rashes caused by the fungus Candida.

When to see your child’s pediatrician

Although diaper rashes can look painful and irritated, they don’t often bother your baby. The exception is when the rash becomes infected. If the rash looks infected, you should call your child’s pediatrician.

Symptoms of an infected diaper rash include:

  • blisters on the diaper area
  • fever
  • redness
  • swelling of the area
  • pus or discharge that drains from the diaper area
  • rash will not go away after treatment or starts to worsen

Your baby’s rash can also develop into a secondary fungal or yeast infection called candidiasis. It appears bright red and raw.

It can sometimes be found in the creases of the skin with spots of the red rash outside of the diaper area on the abdomen or thighs. These are known as “satellite lesions.”

Check with your doctor or nurse for a diagnosis if you notice these symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal cream if they think your baby has a fungal diaper rash.

If your child becomes difficult to console or seems to be in pain related to their diaper rash, these are also signs to call the pediatrician.